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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Exodus 29

 

 

Verses 1-46


The Consecration of the Priesthood

Cp. Leviticus 8, 9. The form of consecration consists of four things, (1) ablution (Exodus 29:4), (2) investiture with the holy garments (Exodus 29:5-9), (3) anointing with holy oil (Exodus 29:7), and (4) offering of sacrifices (Exodus 29:10).

1. Without blemish] see on Exodus 12:5.

2. Unleavened bread] see on Exodus 12:8. Tempered] RV 'mingled.' Oil is a common ingredient of cakes in the East: see e.g. 1 Kings 17:12, and cp. Leviticus 2:5, Leviticus 2:6.

4. Wash them with water] A symbolic action representing the need of inward purity in those who approach God. Washing is frequently enjoined as an act of ceremonial purification: see e.g. Exodus 30:17-21; Leviticus 11:25; Leviticus 14:8; Leviticus 15:18, etc., and cp. Mark 7:3, Mark 7:4. The symbol is retained in Christian baptism: cp. 1 Peter 3:21.

6. Holy crown] the golden plate with the sacred inscription: see Exodus 28:36.

7. Anointing oil] This oil was specially prepared: see Exodus 30:23-25, Anointing with oil is an act symbolising a special consecration to the service of God. Jacob anointed the stone at Beth-el with oil (Genesis 28:18 cp. Exodus 31:13; Exodus 35:14), and the tabernacle and its furniture were also anointed (see Exodus 30:26-29; Leviticus 8:10-11). Priests were consecrated by anointing (as here) and also kings (see 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Kings 11:12), who are accordingly called the 'Lord's anointed '(1 Samuel 26:11; 2 Samuel 1:14; Psalms 2:2; Psalms 89:38-39). The Hebrew word for 'anoint' is mashach, whence is derived the word Messiah, which is used figuratively to describe one who is consecrated by God for a special purpose: cp. e.g. Isaiah 45:1. In a unique sense it denotes the Messiah or Christ, the latter word being the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term: see Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18. In NT. Christians are called the anointed of God, as having received the unction of the Holy Spirit: see 2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27.

10-37. The sacrifices of Consecration.

These signify the self-surrender to God of those on whose behalf they are presented, symbolised by the laying of the hands upon the head of the victim and its subsequent slaughter: see on Leviticus 1:4.

10. The bullock] is for a sin offering on behalf of Aaron and his sons. For the significance of this sacrifice see Leviticus 4:11, Leviticus 4:12. Cp. Leviticus 4:7. Upon the horns of the altar] see on Exodus 27:2.

13. The internal fat, like the blood, is regarded as the seat of life, and must always be offered to God by burning upon the altar: see on Exodus 23:18 and Leviticus 3:3. The caul that is above the liver] RV 'caul upon the liver,' is the fatty covering of that organ.

14. Shalt thou burn] see Leviticus 4:11-12, and on Leviticus 4:26.

15. One ram] one of the two already mentioned (Exodus 29:1), to be a whole burnt offering. It is entirely consumed upon the altar: see on Leviticus 1.

17. Unto his pieces, and unto his head] RV 'with its pieces, and with its head.' The dismemberment of the victim is to secure its rapid consumption upon the altar.

18. A sweet savour] This phrase is frequently employed in connexion with sacrifices to indicate gracious acceptance on the part of God to whom they are offered: see e.g. Genesis 8:21, and cp. Exodus 5:21.

19. The other ram] called in Exodus 29:22 the ram of consecration, lit. 'of filling (the hand).' See on Exodus 28:41. Its blood is used to sprinkle Aaron and his sons and their garments; its most sacred parts are waved in their hands, and then burnt upon the altar; after which the flesh is boiled and eaten by them at a sacrificial feast. The ritual here resembles that of the peace offering, for which see on Leviticus 3.

20. This action symbolises the purificatioii and consecration of the bodily faculties to the service of God. A similar ceremony was performed at the cleansing of a leper: see Leviticus 14:14, Leviticus 14:17.

21. The head of Aaron is already anointed (Exodus 29:7), so that this sprinkling with blood and oil may refer only to the garments of himself and his sons. It is uncertain whether any save the high priest was anointed upon the head. In Leviticus 4:3, Leviticus 4:5, Leviticus 4:16; 'the anointed priest' is the high priest (cp. Leviticus 21:10). On the other hand, Exodus 28:41 enjoins the anointing of Aaron's sons, which, however, may refer to this second anointing.

22. The rump] RV rightly, 'the fat tail.' The tail of one species of the Syrian sheep is very long and broad, weighing sometimes from ten to fifteen pounds, and requiring to be supported on a little wheeled carriage. It is considered a great delicacy, its fat being used for cooking instead of butter.

23. The meal offering which usually accompanies a peace offering: see Leviticus 27:11-21.

24. Put all in the hands of Aaron] thus inducting him and his sons into the duties of their office. The 'waving' consisted in moving the offerings horizontally in the direction of the sanctuary, in token that they were first presented to God and then returned by Him to the officiating priests. This ceremony was performed at the presentation of a peace offering (Leviticus 7:28-34), of the first fruits of harvest (Leviticus 23:11-12), and of the two loaves at the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:20), and also in connexion with the cleansing of a leper (Leviticus 14:12, Leviticus 14:24): see also on Numbers 8:21.

26. It shall be thy part] The law of the wave offering prescribes that the breast should be assigned to the officiating priest; on this occasion to Moses: see Leviticus 7:28-34. After their consecration the ceremony is performed by the priests, who receive the breast. and right shoulder as their portion. See Exodus 29:27, Exodus 29:28.

27. Heave offering] 'Heaving' and 'waving' seem to refer to the same ceremony of presenting the parts first to God.

29. Shall be his sons' after him] cp. Numbers 20:26. Here 'sons' is a general term signifying descendants. The priesthood was hereditary in the family of Aaron.

30. Shall put them on seven days] see on Exodus 29:35.

31. The characteristic feature of the peace offering was the sacrificial meal partaken of by the offerers, expressive of their communion with God and one another: see on Leviticus 3. In the holy place] In the court before the door of the tent of meeting: see Leviticus 8:31.

33. Stranger] One not a priest, a layman: cp. Exodus 30:33; Leviticus 22:10; Numbers 1:51; Numbers 3:10 : see also on Exodus 12:19.

34. See on Exodus 12:10.

35. The ceremony is to be repeated each day for seven days: cp. Leviticus 8:33, and for the fulfilment of the injunction, Leviticus 8:9.

36. When thou hast made] RV 'when thou makest,' or, rather, 'by thy making. 'The altar was consecrated by anointing: see Leviticus 8:10-11, and see on Leviticus 8:7.

37. Shall be holy] see on Leviticus 2:3.

38-42. The Daily Sacrifice. Every morning and evening a lamb is to be offered as a burnt offering on behalf of the whole community as an act of public worship: see on Leviticus 1. It is accompanied with a meal offering and a drink offering, which are sacrifices of thanksgiving. It was offered regularly from the time of its institution down to the destruction of Jerusalem, except for a short period (168-165 b.c.) during the wars of the Maccabees.

40. Tenth deal] tenth part of an ephah: see on Exodus 16:16. A hin is about a gallon and a half.

41. Meat offering] RV 'meal offering': see Leviticus 2.

42. Tabernacle of the congregation] RV 'tent of meeting' see on Exodus 25:22.

43. Sanctified by my glory] see Exodus 40:34, and on Exodus 3:2; Exodus 16:10.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Exodus 29:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/exodus-29.html. 1909.

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Friday, December 13th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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